Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ebb and Flow

Last photos of Julie
A good friend, colleague, and a woman with old-fashioned Southern charm, humor, and down-home common sense gave me some advice today. With her Southern drawl, she brightened my day. Gail is passionate about animals, especially dogs and deer, and she has the knack for storytelling.

She was brave, courageous, and noble to the end.
When Julie died, Gail reminded me on Facebook, "Ebb and Flow, Ebb and Flow." She also told me not to rush to replace Julie, but let grief run its course. In fact, not to rob myself of the grief process. That we have to grieve to come out healed at the end. More interestingly though, today at school she told me I was diddling around. It's her mother's story, and Gail tells it so much better, but here it is.

So kind, so caring. So missed.
What we need to do when we grieve is put everything in God's hands. But usually we have to diddle around a bit, get messy about trying to control everything, instead of going with the ebb and flow. We ask God for His help, but then we keep diddling around. God lets us diddle, and when we get tired, we stop diddling and let God intervene. That's when things happen. Healing begins.

My Shadow
Point taken. I'm going with the ebb and flow. But I am struggling with moving on. Julie went everywhere with me but the barn, and there's an empty spot. Helena told me she'll still walk the farm with me in spirit, and I know I will carry her in my heart. Somewhere between ebb and flow I've learned that I struggle with loss much harder as I age, and getting past this one is challenging my reserves. She was the dog I cried myself to sleep with when I learned I had cancer. She was my best friend.

Still walking the farm in spirit.
What makes this all so hard is that we have all been hit with such losses this summer. For some people, devastating multiple losses. It touches all of us. I almost don't want to keep current with Facebook because every week someone I know and care about or have just friended has suffered a loss. I pray for better days for all of us.



  1. But, this is life. We share our joys too, and sometimes when we have a loss, when we are sad and grieving, we forget about all those wonderful, simple, even very small precious moments.
    And then they come back to us. Like waking up a little bit at a time. The nose kiss from a llama. Rays of sun coming through the leaves. A breeze when its really hot.
    For people like us, surrounded by animals, loving them as we do...well, love and loss begin to intertwine a bit.
    I am truly sorry for your loss, RJ. Julie can never be replaced, but you know that you have so much love to give you will have another dog when the time is right. Maybe tomorrow, maybe 2 weeks from now. Maybe longer. You'll know. Hugs to you.

  2. You ALWAYS touch my heart, whether writing on your own blog, commenting on others, or just sharing on Facebook. Thank you for having a generous heart.